While not usually my gaming fare, I got a chance to sit down with Analogue: A Hate Story and it was much more enjoyable than I had originally expected. Yes, I know that I'm not supposed to be already disposed one way when I'm reviewing a game, but... it happens, alright? I do try to be pretty unbiased when I'm looking at these games... but even looking at the title art up there it's no wonder that I was having some issues with that, right?
Anyway... all that aside, let's get into the nitty gritty of this game, shall we? We shall be pushing on to get the information!
At its heart, Analogue is a story... almost a graphic novel, but it makes you figure the story out as you play along. While this type of game isn't uncommon, it doesn't normally show up on my list of things to play, so this is my first time with a game quite like this.
The story sets you out as some sort of an inspector examining a colony ship that had been lost for over six hundred years. And no, I'm not going to spoil any of it for you, I just want you to know what's going on here... and you're going to learn this in the first ten seconds of the game when you play it.
Your main goal is to find out what happened by interacting with the ship's AI and reading the logs left behind by the original passengers. Once you've read what is available to you, you spend the next few minutes working through the logic puzzle required to unlock the next set of logs for you to read. This cycle is repeated ad infinitum until you've unlocked the entirety of the ship's database.
Once you're happy with the amount of information that you've collected, you can click the "Done With Mission" button and return to your superiors with the information. You can do this at any time, though you will get different endings based on the information that you collect and what you do to collect it. The multiple endings alone give you a reason to play the game more than once.
However, that said... while the endings provide differences, you're going to be reading the same logs over and over if you play through more than once and you're going to have to repeat some of your actions to get the unlocks that you had already. I'm not entirely sure if someone would want to do this, or just go for the full unlock in the beginning when you play for the first time. Since I didn't get the full game unlocked in the beginning, I'm definitely going to try again to see if I can't get it all done.
There are some Steam achievements as well as some weird Japanese-influenced things in the game. The Japanese influences in this game are pretty entertaining honestly, with some being sexual and some being not so much. They are going to be odd, without a doubt, but if you're used to the genre (which I'm not, of course), then it shouldn't be anything too wild for you.
Overall, the game was interesting and I really enjoyed reading the story. If you're not into the whole story idea, however, I wouldn't bother playing this game... as it's entirely not worth it for any other sort of gameplay. I did like the characters though, learning about the different people on the ship and it was quite interesting.
Overall, I'd recommend the game to someone who likes what they've read above. It's quite interesting and I could see myself playing more games like this one, provided I got them relatively inexpensively.
Final Score: A-
It's an odd enough genre that not everyone is going to like it, honestly.